Security

P&N Bank has comprehensive security measures in place to ensure your accounts and personal information are protected from unauthorised access. Whilst P&N has high level security measures in place to protect the bank from fraud, it is also important for members to be aware of fraud and how to protect themselves. Our website provides tips for enhancing security along with information about common types of fraud.

P&N Bank will never perform unsolicited phone calls asking you to confirm bank account details such as your account number or current balance.

We do occasionally contact you to inform you of our products and services that we think may be of interest to you, at which time, we may be required to identify you, to ensure that we do not disclose personal information. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of a phone call you have received, please ask the consultant for their name and advise you will call them back via our Contact Centre number. This will ensure you are speaking to P&N Bank directly and not an individual attempting to gain your account information.

Reporting Fraud

If you suspect that you have encountered a scam, or if you find a transaction on your statements that isn't your own, please contact P&N on 13 25 77. It is important to take an active role in preventing and combatting fraud. 

 

 Latest scams

 

Update: 19 March 2014

Spam warning - videos of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

The recent disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is being used by scammers to spread malware through social media and emails.

If you receive an email or social media message linking to a news report or video about the flight, be cautious about clicking links or viewing video, they could be malicious.

Scammers have a long history of using popular current events to entice you into clicking links to malicious pages where malware can be installed on your computer. Recent examples include the Boston Marathon bombings and the Royal Baby announcement.

In each of these scams you are encouraged to click on a link, leading to malware downloading on to your computer.

This latest example focuses the global concern over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The message appeals to you to click on the video link.

Security advisor Graham Cluley reports that the scams include messages such as:

  • Malaysia Plane (MH-370) Has Been Found Near Bermuda Triangle. BBC News: Recent Video Released!

The associated link can take you to a website that appears to be a legitimate website (such as the BBC) however it is a fake.

The following image shows an example of one such website.

Scam Warning - Video of Malaysia MH370
Image credit: grahamcluley.com

View the Government's Stay Smart Online website for more information.

Email scams

Email survey scam

Consumers are advised to be wary of spam emails that offer a prize in return for completing a survey. In many cases, these surveys are not legitimate and pose a threat to your computer or privacy. If you receive an unsolicited message asking you to complete a survey, you should simply delete it.

There is a current increase in the amount of spam asking recipients to complete a survey to receive a prize or present. The prize could be anything, but recent trends include offers of a credit card, electronic equipment or travel.

One example recently highlighted by security vendor SPAMfighter noted survey spam targeting users of Australian banks with customer satisfaction surveys. The spam included a link which appears to go to the legitimate bank website, however sent the user to a faked survey website.

Scam email alert

P&N is aware of a scam email being circulated which advises the recipient that due to a system upgrade they are required to click on a link to ensure their PC remains compatible with ours.

The link downloads a virus onto your PC and as such, P&N strongly urges any members receiving this email to ignore and delete the email. Under no circumstances should you click on the link.

Please be aware that P&N will never contact our members in this way, asking you to either click on a link or provide password details.

If you have inadvertently clicked on this link please contact us as soon as possible.

Hoax email

P&N is aware of a hoax email being distributed which advises that a copy of your account statement has been forwarded to the sender of the email by P&N.

The email contains an attachment, which the content of the email describes as a copy of a bank statement and urges you to open the attachment and print a copy of the statement, to provide to your financial institution. The attachment is in fact a computer virus, which once opened, may allow the sender of the email to capture your log-on and password to Netlink online banking the next time you log on.

We strongly urge you to ignore and delete this email and under no circumstances should you open the attachment.

If you have inadvertently opened the attachment or have any questions, please contact us as soon as possible.

Email scams (phishing)

Phishing scams operate by sending a fraudulent email that appears to be from your financial institution. The email asks you to reconfirm information such as your online banking log on details, account numbers or PIN. The email might also request that you click on a link to another website and enter your online banking log on details. These emails can look very professional and legitimate, often displaying your financial institution's logo. However, the scam operators then use these methods to gather information and access your accounts.

It is important to remember that P&N and other legitimate financial institutions will never request this type of information via email or ask you to confirm your passwords and PIN under any circumstances.

If you think that you have received a phishing email, please contact us.

Tax office scam email

The Tax Office is warning people about a fraudulent email being circulated that claims to offer a refund from the Tax Office.

The email fraudulently uses the Tax Office logo and the words ‘Australian Taxation Office – Notification’ or ‘Australian Taxation Office – Please Read This’ in the subject line (there may also be variations to these titles).

Acting Tax Commissioner Greg Farr said anyone who receives the email should delete it immediately.

The email asks people to click on a link which redirects them to a bogus website that looks similar to the Tax Office website and asks for credit card and personal details in order to receive a refund.

The email and website are not affiliated with the Tax Office in any way.

"With the 31 October deadline for tax returns approaching, people should be particularly wary of any unsolicited emails claiming to be from the Tax Office,” Mr Farr said.

“The Tax Office will never send an email to people asking them to provide personal information or credit card details.”

Should you have already responded to this e-mail, please contact us immediately to ensure that your card is cancelled and a replacement issued.

Other scams

Point of sale EFTPOS skimming fraud

EFTPOS skimming occurs when skimming and PIN capturing devices are illegally fitted to EFTPOS machines at retail and other outlets.

P&N advises our members to take the following steps to protect themselves against this fraudulent activity:

  • Check your credit and/or debit card statements to ensure all withdrawals that have been made are legitimate
  • Should you detect any questionable transactions please contact us immediately to verify these transactions
  • Protect your personal credit and debit card details at all times
  • Report to police any information you may have concerning tampering with or theft of EFTPOS machines

Lottery scams and pyramid selling schemes

These scams work by promising large amounts of money in return for sending a smaller amount upfront. You may receive an email saying that you have won a lottery and need to send money to collect your prize; or that you have been invited to participate in a money making scheme. An important point to remember is with these types of scams is that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Never respond or send money.

Job recruitment

Have you seen an advertisment or received an email about a job which involves receiving money into your bank account and sending it overseas?

These are not legitimate jobs. You should immediately delete any such emails.

These types of jobs are what we call 'mule recruitment' - that is, attempting to get you to receive stolen funds using your bank account and then transfer those funds to criminals overseas. Criminals send out millions of these fraudulent job emails to random email addresses in the hope of involving unsuspecting innocent people in their criminal activity. Criminals also advertise these bogus jobs on popular employment or job-seeking websites.

Depending on the circumstances, it is possible that people who agree to participate in these "jobs" may be prosecuted as money launderers. If you have received money into your bank account, transferred or attempted to transfer money overseas in these circumstances, please contact us immediately.

For more details check out the Scamwatch website.

Cheque overpayment

If you are selling something over the internet or through the classifieds, you may be targeted by a cheque overpayment scam. You might receive an offer from a potential buyer (often quite generous) and accept it. The scammer then sends you a cheque, but the cheque is for more money than the agreed price.

The scammer will invent an excuse for the overpayment. For example, the scammer might tell you that the extra money is meant to cover the fees of an agent or extra shipping costs. The scammer might just say that it was a mistake they made when they wrote the cheque.

The scammer will then ask you to refund the excess amount—usually through an online banking transfer or a wire transfer (such as Western Union). The scammer is hoping that you will do this before you discover that their cheque has bounced. You will have lost the money you paid into their account, and if you have already sent the item you were selling, you will lose this as well. At the very least, the scammer will have wasted your time and prevented you from accepting any legitimate offers.

 

 What is a scam

 

Common signs of a scam:

  • An offer that comes out of the blue
  • A guaranteed quick and easy way to make money
  • Promises of low effort and no risk involved
  • A request for personal information (eg. banking details)
  • Sounds too good to be true

For more information, please visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch website or call into any P&N branch for your copy of “Little Black Book of Scams”, which is produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to help you avoid becoming a victim of scams.

 

 Counterfeit detection

 

Australia might have one of the lowest rates of counterfeiting in the world, but that doesn’t mean it does not happen.

When determining if you’re dealing with counterfeit money, the first rule is to compare the suspect note with a genuine banknote. Suspect notes should always be turned over to the police as it is an offence to knowingly possess a counterfeit. If they prove to be genuine banknotes, the full value will be paid but no value is paid for counterfeits.

If you come across a banknote that you suspect is counterfeit:

  • handle the suspect banknote as little as possible and store it in an envelope
  • note any relevant information, such as how it came into your possession, a description of the person who passed it, any companions and any vehicle used, and
  • report the matter immediately to the police.

All Australian banknotes have similar security features which can be checked if you’re ever unsure of the validity of money that you come in possession of.

To find out more on Australian banknotes and the history of our currency, visit the Reserve Bank of Australia’s website. The RBA website also features an Eye Spy Security Features game to try your hand at spotting all security features on a genuine banknote and a Banknote Challenge for those who want an extra test of your currency knowledge.

 

 Suspicious transaction monitoring

 

In addition to our other security measures, we also monitor the following transactions 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Visa Credit/Debit card
  • rediCard
  • online transactions through Netlink and MiLink

Any suspicious activity detected is investigated. Other suspicious transactions are monitored during working hours Monday to Friday which may involve contacting members to confirm that all transactions appearing on their account are their own.

Although fraud monitoring for Visa Credit/Debit card, rediCard and online transactions through Netlink and MiLink operates 24 hours a day, our Fraud Department will only contact members between the hours of 7am to 10pm (WST). For all other monitoring, we will only contact you during business hours Monday to Friday. You should be wary of unsolicited calls supposedly from your financial institution. Genuine calls from the P&N Fraud Department will be made from telephone number 1300 705 750 for Visa Credit/Debit card and rediCard transactions.

Calls in relation to other fraud matters will be made from a telephone number with a prefix of 9219 7XXX or our Contact Centre number 13 25 77.

Should you have concerns about whom you are speaking with, do not provide any banking or personal information and hang up immediately. You should then advise our Contact Centre on 13 25 77 and they will be able to confirm if the call you received was from the P&N Fraud Department.

 

 Technical

 

Encryption and SSL Connection

P&N has strong online encryption in place and uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. This provides a secure connection between your computer and P&N systems. You can see that you are connected to a secure site utilising SSL technology by looking for the small padlock icon at the bottom of your web browser.

Digital Certificates

We also use VeriSign Digital Certificates to ensure a secure connection to our Netlink online banking site. To check for the Verisign Digital Certificate before logging on to Netlink online banking, right click your mouse, select 'properties' from the list of options, then click on 'certificates'. This should verify that you are logging on to P&N Netlink online banking site.

Automatic Time Out

For the security of our members, Netlink online banking sessions automatically time out after being left unattended for ten minutes.

 

 Participating in committees

 
P&N is actively involved in combatting fraud and staying abreast of fraud related issues. We work with top industry bodies for fraud prevention and participate in various fraud prevention committees, including:
 
·         High Tech Crime Operations
·         AUSTRAC
 

 Verified by VISA

 

When you shop online, it’s important to know that your transactions are secure. To ensure your security, P&N Easypay VISA Credit Cards and VISA Debit Cards are equipped with protection from Verified by VISA.

Verified by VISA 

What is Verified by VISA?

Verified by VISA is an online service designed to make internet transactions safer at participating merchants through the authentication of the cardholder’s identity at the time of purchase.

It provides reassurance to both you, the cardholder, and to the merchant that you are each engaging in a genuine transaction.

How does it work?

For your convenience and protection, the enhanced version of Verified by VISA works behind the scenes so in most instances you won’t be interrupted on your way to the checkout. 

Each time you make an online purchase with a participating merchant, the Verified by VISA program assesses the risk level of the transaction. Certain activities may seem out of the ordinary because of the high dollar value or it is a retailer you have never bought from before. In these instances you will be asked to confirm some simple personal details to verify your identity so we can be sure the card isn’t being used without your permission.

You're already protected

All existing and new VISA cards are automatically registered for this free service.

Throughout the world a growing number of merchants are offering Verified by VISA. Look for the symbol as a sign these merchants value your business and your security.

You can view the Verified by VISA terms and conditions on this pdf.

 

 PC requirements

 
  • Set up a firewall for your home computer. This will help to prevent unauthorised internet users accessing information from your computer while you are online.
  • Where possible, ensure that you install Microsoft's current security updates as soon as they are released. Visit the Microsoft website for further information about receiving security updates.
  • Install good antivirus software and keep it up to date. You can purchase some well respected anti virus packages from the internet such as Symantec, Trend Micro, or McAfee.
  • Where possible, avoid banking or shopping online at internet cafes or other public internet terminals.
  • Always look for the secure padlock icon at the bottom of the browser when logging on to an online banking or internet shopping website
  • Regularly check your transaction history or statement for any unusual or suspicious transactions.

Whilst P&N strongly advises that you consider the above recommendations, we encourage you to thoroughly investigate the range of security options currently available before applying them to your PC. The following are some reasons for this advice.

  • Incorrectly configured firewalls can deny you access to the internet for various services including web browsing, email, downloading, online media and other services.
  • Microsoft security patches may be released with defects (bugs) that can cause adverse effects to the normal operation of your PC or its programs. These patches are essential to the protection of your PC and should be applied, however may have unwanted effects.
  • Virus scanners can cause PCs to perform poorly or may not interact with certain software.

In the event that you are unsure of the application of security measures to protect your PC, you should seek third party technical support. Whilst we strongly advise that you consider the above recommendations, P&N is in no way responsible for any adverse effects to your PC in applying the advised security measures.

 

Further Information

You can find further information about enhancing your home computer security on the following websites:
 
·       Microsoft
·       Trend Micro
·       Symantec
 

 Banking safely online

 
  • Do not choose online banking passwords that are easy to guess, such as your name or birth date
  • Never tell anyone your log on information
  • Change your online banking password regularly
  • Always log on to Netlink online banking via the P&N website
  • Never leave an online banking session unattended
  • Always log out properly
 

 Social media

 
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to connect with friends and family, but they are also a way for fraudsters to connect with you.
 
Be careful that you don’t publish personal information that may compromise your personal security, in particular you should never publish in a post, tweet or a status update any private banking information like your PAN, PIN, bank account details or address.
 
Here are some things to consider when setting up and participating in social network sites:
 
·         Question each piece of information that you put on your profile and whether you’re willing to share it online - for example your home address or phone number
·         Personal data such as birth date, drivers licence number, tax file number or bank account details should never be published
·         Create complex passwords using upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (such as $%&!), with a different password for each site
·         Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know
·         Never consider any communication on a social networking site to be personal or private
·         Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and security policy of any social networking sites you use
·         If the site offers a reset password feature using a ’security question’, make sure that only you know the answer to the question
·         Sort your friends into groups so that you can share specific content with selected friends
·         Minimise the number of third party apps and services that you install or allow to access your account
·         Don’t click links in messages or wall posts, even links sent to you by friends without checking first if the person intended to send it to you
 

 Card security

 
·         Sign new cards as soon as you receive them
·         If you are expecting a new card and don't receive it within 10 working days, contact us on 13 25 77
·         Destroy expired cards
·         Memorise your PIN (do not carry it with your card), don't use the same PIN for all of your access cards, and never tell anyone your PIN
·         Do not select an obvious code for your PIN, such as your birth date
·         Never provide your credit card details over the phone or internet unless you are sure that you are dealing with a legitimate organisation
·         Notify P&N immediately if your card has been lost or stolen
·         Make a record of card account and telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards and keep it in a safe place away from your wallet or handbag
 

 At the ATM

 

Stay alert

Be cautious when strangers offer to help you at the ATM, even if your card is stuck or you are experiencing difficulty with the transaction. Avoid ATMs which have messages or signs fixed to them indicating that the screen directions have been changed, especially if the message is posted over the card reader. Banks and other ATM owners will not put up messages directing you to specific ATMs, nor would they direct you to use an ATM which has been altered. Do not use ATMs that appear to have been tampered with.
 

Memorise your PIN

Do not write your PIN down or keep it in your wallet or purse and do not give it to anyone. If you think it may have been compromised, please contact us immediately.
 

Put your card and cash away

After completing your transaction, secure your card and cash immediately before exiting the ATM area.
 

Treat your card like cash

Always protect your card by keeping it in a safe place. If your card is lost or stolen, contact us immediately.
 

Protect your details

When entering your PIN, shield the ATM keypad with your hand or body. Keep your transaction record so you can compare it to your monthly statement.
 

Report suspicious behaviour

Report all crimes immediately to law enforcement officials, ATM owners and P&N.
 

 Protect your personal information

 
·         Check your bank statements to ensure all transactions displayed are your own
·         Store all your personal information (eg. bank statements, cheque books, passport, utility bills, tax records) in a secure place
·         Put a lock on your letterbox
·         When disposing of personal documents, make sure you shred or tear them up
·         Cancel all unused or dormant bank accounts
·         Never provide your bank account details or other personal information in response to an unsolicited phone call or email
·         Never pre-sign cheques and always cross them 'not negotiable'
·         Request a copy of your credit file from Veda to make sure nobody is fraudulently using your identity to obtain credit. Veda are the custodians of personal information in Australia. Send a written request to Veda Public Access, PO Box 964, North Sydney, NSW 2059 or fax 02 9951 7880
 

 Industry links

 

 

Stay Smart Online is a government run website and provides tips for families and small business with topics like securing your computer, small business safe online, smart transacting online and kids safe online.
 
More information about protecting your financial identity.
 
Help Prevent Identity Theft, Spyware & Viruses – Microsoft provides great tips in the 'security at home' section of their website on how to potect your computer, potect yourself and protect your family.
 
SCAMwatch provides information on how to recognise, avoid and report scams. This is a government run website and it is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
 
The Australian High Tech Crime Centre is a Federal Police branch, providing a nationally coordinated approach to technology enabled crime (e.g. internet banking fraud and phishing)
 
Regularly review your credit file with the credit reporting bureau. This will enable you to check that your identity have not been used without your knowledge.
 
For financial tips and safety checks on investment and superannuation proposals please visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website
 
The  Australian Crime Commission’s identity fraud intelligence facility provides valuable information and tips on how to avoid identity fraud
 
WA ScamNet profiles the most prevalent scams targeting Western Australians and provides information on different types of scams, how to recognise scams, and what to do if you have received a scam.
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